Arulmigu Balamurugan Tirukkovil, Rathinagiri
The History of the Shrine
Rathinagiri Bāla Murugan Temple was built around the 14th century. Over the passage of time an ordinary sand structure was converted into a stone shrine.
Greatness of the Shrine:
Ancient Hindu scriptures say that wherever there is a hill, Lord Murugan resides as the all-powerful Deity. Of these Tirupparamkundram, Tiruchendur, Tiruvavinankudi, Tiruveragam and Palamuthircholai are famous shrines, collectively called 'Kundruthoradal'. The holy shrine at Rathinagiri also features in this category.
The 14th Century poet Arunagirinathar has sung about this temple as Rathinakiri Vazh Murukane Ilaya Vaaramarar Perumaley', which means 'Murugan, the God of Devas resides in Rathinagiri'.
The Omnipotent Power manifests His Blessings to mankind in three forms:
Of these three, Lord Bālamurugan manifests himself at Rathinagiri in two forms. The first is in the form of the deity with his two consorts Valli and Teyvanai. The second is in the form of our Guru, Swami Bālamurugan Adimai.
The History of Swami Bālamurugan Adimai through whom the Blessings of Lord Bālamurugan are channeled to us is praise worthy.
History of Swami Bālamurugan Adimai
Born on the 24th of January 1941 (in the Vikrama year of the Tamil calendar on the 11th day of the month of Thai) in the small village of Kilminnal adjacent to Rathinagiri, he was the fourth child born to Śrī Kandaswami Mudaliar and Smt. Sinagarammal. He was named Dakshinamurthy and Sachidanandam, both being names of Lord Shiva.
On completion of his schooling he entered the services of the Electricity Department. Soon after, he entered into holy matrimony with Sivakami and was blessed with two daughters and a son.
One day in his 27th year, on his way to work, he climbed the hill to offer his prayers. There was neither camphor nor incense available at the temple. He walked around the shrine with a heavy heart and was suddenly overcome with divine awakening. He fell in a faint to the ground and on waking up was unable to remember his own self. He dressed himself in a loincloth. He took a sacred vow not to leave until the temple was restored to its former glory.
This memorable event of Swami's spiritual awakening took place on 20th March 1968. Ever since then Swami's spiritual well being of his devotees has continued unabated.
Renovation of the Temple
Separate pathways were laid to ascend and descend the hill. A chariot made of granite was made and the main deity was installed there to facilitate renovation of the sanctum sanctorum. Two temples for Lord Ganesha were built at the foothill and uphill. A golden chariot was made for the Lord Murugan to circumambulate the shrine. Ornaments of gold, silver and precious stones were made to decorate the idol.
Presently (October 2001), a motorable road is under construction to the summit that will enable elderly and infirm devotees to visit Balamurugan Tirukkovil easily.
Work Completed to Date
A granite sanctum sanctorum modeled according to the Chola architecture has been built at a cost of 20 lakhs for installing the deity. A spacious hall around the shrine, vimanam and a beautiful entrance has been completed at a cost of 50 lakhs. The rest of the renovation work estimated to cost another 50 lakhs is in progress. With the inflow of donations from devotees work may be completed soon and the kumbhabhishekam may be performed at a close date in 2002.
The worship of Durga Devi 'the bestower of success' has been carried on since time immemorial. A temple for Durga Devi was built at Rathinagiri and Kumbhabhishekam, performed on 8 June 1995.
A motorable road to the Hill Temple is presently nearing completion. This road will ensure that no devotee, however old or infirm, should come to Rathinagiri without ascending the hill to enjoy the darshanam of Rathinagiri Bala Murugan.
Six Sided Holy Tank
A six-sided tank has been dug out and steps have been made. Further progress on this work has postponed until Kumbhabhishekam of the main temple. The cost of completing the work on the tank will be around nine lakhs.
Archana in Tamil
Lord Murugan being the God of Tamil it is only befitting that worship be carried on in Tamil. All mantras are chanted in Tamil so that the common man can better understand the worship.
Service to the Devotees
In order to provide facilities to enable the rural youth to compete with the urban, a matriculation school was established for the children of the employees of the shrine in 1987. It has gradually developed and at present about 1,019 children of the surrounding 18 villages are benefited by it.
Every first Friday and Saturday lectures are held on Tiruvilaiyadal Purina, Tolkapiyam, Periyapuranam and Tirukkural for the public.
A 25-bed charity hospital has been built for the benefit of the poor. Specialists from all fields offer their services freely to the poor. Free eye camps are held every month and around 70 patients are operated free of cost.
Cottages for visitors
Cottages for the devotees have been built and are available
Days of principal importance in the calendar year